Christmas is a-coming! December 12, 2013

Christmas is getting closer and closer, isn’t it? I finally got my act together and went online and finished my shopping. Or all I hope to get done this year. 🙂

There isn’t too much new to report since last time. The side effects from the taxotere that had begun to set in on Friday continued to manifest throughout the weekend. Boy, did I find out what muscle aches were all about. It was like the flu only more intense. You didn’t want to touch or be touched by anyone. I even banned Lucy from the couch and sleeping with me. Now that is bad! Luckily it began to taper off by Monday or Tuesday. The fatigue–another story. That has taken quite a while to shake. I really began to good decent this week, 3rd week out. And guess what? the next treatment is next Monday. Wheee……

I have a feeling each treatment will be a little less hard on me. That is what happened last time. Your body starts to adjust to these weird things you are doing to it. That, plus the good effects of the medication begin to kick in and go after the tumor cells. I have felt quite a bit of relief in breathing. One or two days this week I managed to go up and down the stairs multiple times, without giving it too much thought. That is definitely new. And was one of the things Dr. Smith said should be an outcome. Honestly, if it helps the breathing, the muscle aches are worth it. I know that sounds odd, but not being able to walk across the room comfortably is a horrid feeling. Especially for someone who at one time could walk 3 or 4 miles. My legs still want to go as fast as always. I have to make my brain think: “Slow down, dimwit. Or you’ll pay for sure!” (a little humor is a good thing)

I mentioned before that Mike’s cousin in Nashville had lost his battle with a very rapid cancer. His memorial was to be Monday. After convincing Mike that I would be fine (I had plenty of food and juice on hand and I could go downstairs if I wanted soup or something else), he went on his way to the service. And then went to see VCU play Belmont. He had bought tickets for us a couple of months ago, and I really didn’t want him to miss the game. He needed the break. Yes, he went. But meanwhile he had communicated with Pam and over she came, with food, and sat and visited. It was good to see her. I was rested when she came, so I was feeling good and ready to visit with her. Then we ate when Mike got home, which he did before 7:00 that night. What a sweetheart. Both of them.

As I said, by Monday and Tuesday after the treatment I was feeling better. Mike and I made the trip down to Goodlettesville for the new hairdo. Just in time, I might add. By Friday things were happening. No, I didn’t go have it shaved. I had had it cut super short, so the process really didn’t take too long. And I’m too private about it to have it shaved. Just can’t make myself do it. I admire the ladies who can go without their wigs; I’m just not one of them. Anyhow, we visited our wig shop, ate lunch at Friday’s, and came back to BG to run a couple of errands. A full day. I did pay for it the next few days, but it was so good to get out and see people. I’m about ready to do it again. 🙂 Sure wish it would warm up, though. I dread toting the oxygen around while wearing full winter wear.

This weekend is our church’s cantata, so I hope to be there for that. I’ve missed the last couple of Sundays, and I really miss seeing everyone. The choir and church have been so helpful and so supportive. They, in addition to our other community of friends, have been our backbone. When you live so far from family it is important to build connections. And we are thankful to have such helpful ones. When the real effects of the taxotere set in, I realized we needed help with food. Mike was being overwhelmed with everything else that needed doing. He is still working, after all, plus running in circles doing my errands and taking care of me on a daily basis. There were a few days I didn’t come downstairs at all, so he was fixing things, bringing it up, going back and cleaning up……….We wouldn’t have that any other way, but I could see it was taking a real toll on him. So church kicked in and has fed us like royalty. There aren’t enough words to thank them and others who have helped. You all know who you are, and you rock!

Hopefully, if the weather isn’t bad, I can get out and visit the new Bed, Bath, and Beyond this weekend. See? I know I’m better. I’m thinking about shopping. A definite sign! To our friends who have come by and visited, thanks a ton. You’re keeping me in touch. To all those who have sent cards, thank you for your thoughtfulness. It is a daily reminder of how much you mean to us. And to others, well, until you are properly thanked, I want to say thanks tons for everything.

In about 10 days my friend Debbie Youngman will be here to spend Christmas. I look forward to seeing her and hearing more from home. It will be a quiet, family Christmas, just the three of us. Mike feel a little outnumbered, if we gang up on him (which we do every now and then, lol), but he loves it.

Please keep our brother-in-law Bill in mind. He did well with his surgery for bladder cancer, and is now entering the next phase of his journey.

And please send special prayers to Dr. Bill Russell and Anna. They have had an extraordinarily difficult time this fall, and need everyone’s love and support. Bill has been fighting his illness for years, and it’s finally taking a horrible toll on him. Anna has had to make some difficult decisions about treating her heart condition as well. And Karen, their daughter, suffered a house fire this fall. As I said, they have had it very rough. Some of the best people in the world.

Everyone out there fights their own battles, and everyone needs our love and prayers. I pray that everyone reading this has a wonderful Christmas with those they love. And I want to extend special prayers to the people in oncology at Graves Gilbert. They are such special nurses, getting all of us through this journey. And of course to Dr. Smith.Thank you, friends. You are our heroes.

Merry Christmas everyone. Stay well, and be happy.

Anne and Mike